ULVHEDIN - PAGAN MANIFEST - EINHEIT
In all frankness if this is the pagan manifest then sign me up for Christianity or some other absurd organized religion immediately. Admittedly, Metallian has never been the forum for unrestrained cheerleading - we leave that to all the other metal zines with their barrage of publicist-pleasing good marks - but as far as 'Viking metal' bands go (you know the stupid hair cut, trench coats, runes everywhere, Odin frolicking on the cover, some drunken idiot bellowing in the microphone, keyboards here, there and potentially everywhere) Ulvhedin is pretty bad. Sure, if pretentious dross like Enslaved or Manegarm, or even Emperor is your thing Ulvhedin would do, but our job here at Metallian Towers is to tell the truth which probably will end up offending someone every time. Too bad though because the metal media could serve a purpose by informing their readership, filter the mediocre from the scene and contribute to the strengthening of the music. Unfortunately, candour and intelligence are not as fashionable as puffery, publicity and marketing. People get their news from CNN, their information from commercials and read reviews of albums on any number of lame metal webzines or in glossy magazines and have by now become used to puffery as opinion. It is almost like deciphering code. The rare 6/10 (which in mathematical terms would suggest above average) implies that the reviewed piece is the worst type of crap. Similarly, the standard-issue 8/10 probably means that this CD is just plain bad. Sure, Ulvhedin's biography highlights several 15/15 (!!!) and 8/10's, but what does that all mean when all bands receive good marks all the time?
Listening to Pagan Manifest highlights a weak command of the instruments, cliched interchange of goth singing with stereotypical screams and the same riff played over and over. This is true critical assessment, something that is a taboo on the metal scene at present. - Ali "The Metallian"